Ghana’s Education Committee in Parliament to push for the amendment of GETFund Act

The Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament, Peter Nortsu Kortoe, has said that the committee will push for the amendment of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) Act.

Parliament of Ghana

This is coming after the Auditor-General’s report cited the GETFund for breaching its mandate and “illegally” funding foreign scholarships.

According to the report, the current Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and the current Procurement Minister and Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Sarah Adwoa Safo, among other Members of Parliament (MP), were beneficiaries of the scheme in the recent past.

GETFund’s Annual Reports from 2012 to 2018, stated that the secretariat spent over GHC400 million on scholarships on 3,112 beneficiaries, out of which 2,217 persons were unlawfully granted scholarships to study abroad.

Mr Kortoe told Accra-based Citi FM that it is the right time for the GETFund Act to be amended.

“As a committee, we are going to ask for the amendment of the GETFund Act. This is what as a committee we have done several times for the three or four years whenever the formula was presented to the committee for approval or recommendations we said the GETFund Act needed amendment. The Fund was engaging in activities that hitherto were not part of the Act. So we either regularise their activities by amending the law or get them to do exactly what they need to do.”

Calls for reform

The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare also said radical reforms must be put in place for the management of the scholarship scheme.

“This audit report is actually an opportunity to catapult the need for reforms in the policy. It is time for civil society and the media to begin to raise the issue to try and get the attention of local authority towards reforming GETFund because what we need to do is to depoliticize GETFund, but not necessarily a new law. The law is skewed because what they are doing is outside the law since they are giving the monies to party boys and girls, cronies and privileged people in the society, which is not part of the law. So we need to use this Auditor General report to demand radical reforms in the management of the Fund irrespective of the administration in power,” Mr. Asare said.

What performance audit said

The performance audit report said the GETFund Secretariat “breached the object of the fund and administered the scholarship themselves.”

“GETFund did not establish any systems, policies, and procedures to ensure the economic, efficient and effective use of public funds,” the report added.

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